Specialized Origin Tables

After working on my Two-Headed origin for Gamma World, I needed to find a way to fit it into the random character generation system.  My first thought was that a player could swap out one origin he or she dislikes and put Two-Headed in its place.  That seems like a fair enough system, but I wasn’t completely happy with it because I didn’t feel it would scale well as more origins, both official and unofficial, were introduced.

I wanted to come up with a system that would allow more player influence on the type of mutant generated while still maintaining the quirkiness of rolling randomly.  What I’ve arrived at is having a series of specialized origin tables that a player, or game master, can choose from.

Each specialized origin table is built around a broad character theme and contains 10+1 origins.  A player rolls 1d10 to determine their primary origin, then rolls again to get a secondary origin.  If the same origin is rolled twice, then the player uses the “+1″ origin as his or her secondary origin.

Before a game starts, the game master could easily prepare a handful of tables with different themes that fit his or her campaign.  Each player would then be able to pick which theme to use when they roll for a character.

Example:  Urban Decay

The towering skyscrapers of the Ancients have crumbled, but the ruined cities are still home to large groups of mutants trying to survive.  While the ruins provide shelter, they are also filled with dangers:  toxic sludge, rogue robots, and countless vermin.

The Urban Decay table is intended to focus on mutants that would be most at home in the crumbled cities of Gamma Terra.  It avoids most of the animal-themed origins, but rats and cockroaches are a perfect fit.

1 Android
2 Cockroach
3 Doppelganger
4 Electrokinetic
5 Empath
6 Mind Coercer
7 Radioactive
8 Rat Swarm
9 Speedster
10 Telekinetic
+1 Engineered Human

Example:  Deep Wastelands

In lands that were wild even at the height of the Ancients, humans now near extinction.  Instead mutated animals and plants have risen to take control of their own destiny.

The Deep Wastelands table is designed to maximize the non-human feel of characters by focusing on animal-themed origins (plant- and rock- themed are also included).  The few non-animal origins are intended to be bigger physical deviations from humanity (giant and my two-headed origin).

1 Cockroach
2 Felinoid
3 Giant
4 Hawkoid
5 Plant
6 Radioactive
7 Rat Swarm
8 Seismic
9 Two-Headed (available here)
10 Yeti
+1 Survivor (available here)

Has anyone tried something like this for Gamma World yet?

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About Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer living near Seattle.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2010 in Review « Glimm's Workshop - 5 January 2011

    [...] Specialized Origin Tables My idea for dealing with the growing number of official and homebrew origins for Gamma World. [...]

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